Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Reading Envy 074: The Books We Didn't Love in High School

I visited a new podcast guest and we recorded this episode, talking about the books we did read (or should have read) in high school, books that have been made into movies and tv shows, and a few more surprises. Listen to the entire episode to find out who the dog is named after!

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 074: The Books We Didn't Love in High School.

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Books discussed:



The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck
Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler
Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
Voices in the Night: Stories by Steven Millhauser

Other mentions:
Anthony Trollope
R.F. Delderfield
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Muppet Christmas Carol (film)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
John Dos Passos
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
The Mask of Dimitrios (film)
A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
Topkapi (film)
North by Northwest (film)
The Man Who Knew too Much (film)
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
The 39 Steps by John Buchan
Queen Sugar (tv show) 
Island of Sheep by John Buchan
Mister Standfast by John Buchan
Sugar in the Blood by Andrea Stuart
The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts
The Librarian is In (NYPL) podcast
T.C. Boyle
LitWit podcast 
The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Empire Falls (film)
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck
Alexander McCall Smith
Stamped from the Beginning: the Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
Paulina Chiziane

Related Episodes:
Episode 049 - The Legendary Cheese with Holly and Caroline
Episode 055 - Too Late for an Autopsy with Julie Davis

Stalk us online:
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Books Read in November 2016: 271-294

At the risk of repeating myself, there is still time to let me know your best read(s) of 2016! Do so by December 16 and you will be included in the Reading Envy Best of 2016 episode. More information here on how to contribute.

November was a rough reading month for many of us, losing focus, losing steam, as we tried to reconcile political outcomes with expectations. I know for me, I started out with great intentions for "Non-Fiction November," with a hefty stack of the National Book Award short list, all books on slavery and racism and other important subjects. But then they became too much to tackle, too much to handle. I turned to memoir and lighter reads.

Some of these books were reviewed in November but not really read then. I just couldn't post about them publicly because they were part of a postal book swap. So my numbers aren't off by the end of the year, I'll indicate those with brackets.



(Pictured: November's 5-star reads)

271. The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin (library book; my review)
272. The Redemption of Galen Pike by Carys Davies (postal book swap; my review)
273. The Little Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien (library book; my review)
274. The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner (library book; my review)
275. Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell (Audible audiobook; my review)
276. Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon (interlibrary loan; my review)
277. Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile (signed copy from SC Book Festival; my review)
278. Letter to a Future Lover by Ander Monson (abandoned library book; my review)
279. Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck, read by Gary Sinise (Audible audiobook; my review)
280. Voices in the Night: Stories by Steven Millhauser (library eBook; my review)
281. Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit (purchased eBook; my review)
282. Light Years by James Salter (personal copy; my review)
283. Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger (Audible audiobook; my review)
284. The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (Edelweiss eARC; my review)
285. The Registrar's Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages by Sophie Hardach (personal copy; my review)
286. Water: New Short Story Fiction from Africa edited by Nick Mulgrew (Edelweiss eARC; my review)
287. The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu (Goodreads Giveaway; my review)
288. Pigs Can't Swim by Helen Peppe (library eBook; my review)
289. Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror edited by Ellen Datlow (NetGalley eARC; my review)
290. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (book swap; my review)
[291.  The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald (book swap in January; my review)]
[292. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (book swap in April; my review)]
[293. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (book swap in June; my review)]
[294. Did You Ever Have a Family? by Bill Clegg (book swap in September; my review)]

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

New Books In, November 2016

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
milk and honey by Rupi Kaur
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Macintyre
The Unknown Bridesmaid by Margaret Foster
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
A Gambler's Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem
Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit (eBook; not pictured)

I have read half these books already! I bought the Marra and Macintyre from the tiny used book section at a local independent book store because I had read both of these and wanted to own them. I had read the Wharton and Kaur lately, so when I went to Book Depository to order the Chambers (since it doesn't come out in the USA until March plus I wanted the UK cover), I snagged these other two on a good discount. The Gaiman is a review copy, the Lethem is the November Book of the Month pick (guest selected by Anthony Bourdain!!), and the Forster was a used book with a cool cover and an indie press, so I'm a sucker. For a few days post-election, the Solnit was free from the publisher as an eBook, so I jumped. I have already finished that one as well.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Reading Envy Podcast 073: Buried Under the Beets

Jason Roland is back, this time in person, and we discuss some of our best recent reads. Also southern wisdom and natural disasters, which always seem to happen around the time we record an episode. Is it the books?

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 073: Buried Under the Beets.


Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
Or subscribe via iTunes by clicking: Subscribe
Or listen through TuneIn
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Listen via Stitcher

Books discussed:



Rules for a Knight by Ethan Hawke
The Redemption of Galen Pike by Carys Davies
My Struggle, Book One by Karl Ove Knaussgard
The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner
Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South by Vivian Howard
Twilight by William Gay

Other mentions:

The Risen by Ron Rash
The Hottest State by Ethan Hawke
Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke
Before Sunrise (film)
Magnificent Seven (film)
Indeh by Ethan Hawke and Greg Ruth
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
VICE - Knaussgard interview
Autumn by Ali Smith

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
A Chef's Life (PBS show)
The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz
Sean Brock
Anson Mills
Child of God by Cormac McCarthy
Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Barkskins by Annie Proulx

Related podcast episodes:
Reading Envy Episode 014: Flannery O'Connor with Zombies
Reading Envy Episode 025: Mule and Plow
Reading Envy Episode 042 - It Begins with Rain
Reading Envy Episode 046 - Books for Your Kitty Party (The Best of 2015) 
Reading Envy Episode 054 - Retired Pirates

Stalk us online:
Jason on Twitter
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Be on the podcast: tell me the best book you read in 2016!

I am currently working toward a Best of 2016 Reading Envy Podcast episode that will post on December 20, and I need your help!

I am asking for submissions for the best book you read in 2016.  Your best read from 2016 does not have to have been published this year, just something you read since January 1.

To be included in the end of the year podcast, please do one of the following by the 16th of December at 11:59 pm EST.

1. Submit an audio file that includes:
-Your name
-Your location (if you desire)
-Your best read from 2016 and anything you'd like to say about it

2. Schedule a time with me to have me record you in Skype, maybe you don't have a way to create your own audio file?

3. Email me or tweet me what you want me to read out on the podcast on your behalf.

Contact info:
email: readingenvy [at] gmail
Twitter: @readingenvy

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Library Books Mid-November 2016

I had to take two photos because I had a big pile of books on my desk at work that hadn't made it home yet, in fact some are work-related.


The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz
The Mindful Librarian: Connecting the Practice of Mindfulness to Librarianship by Richard Moniz et al
The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in a Men's Prison by Mikita Brottman
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndezes
The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi


Felicity: Poems by Mary Oliver
The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz (guess I brought this one home by the time I took a picture!)
Killing Rage: Ending Racism by Bell Hooks
Bright Dead Things: Poems by Ada Limón
Letter to a Future Lover: Marginalia, Errata, Secrets, Inscriptions, and Other Ephemera Found in Libraries by Ander Monson
Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives by Gary Younge

Well, what can I say. These are not cheery piles. Some of them are reactions to the election, some were on the short or long list for the National Book Award for non-fiction, and are just now coming into the library. The Kendi took that particular award, so that might be a good place to start. The Oliver and Limón have already been consumed, as poetry can sometimes carry me through.

How are you holding up, post-election? Are you finding reads to carry you through? I'm hesitant to start many of these quiet yet, although I have already abandoned the Monson and Brottman.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Reading Envy 072: Books are my Bag

Jenny sits down in the Reading Envy pub with another new guest she recruited from Litsy - Sarah K. We discuss medicine, Man Booker Prize runners up, book swaps, and genres people don't read all that often. (But we think they should!)

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 072: Books are my Bag.


Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
Or subscribe via iTunes by clicking: Subscribe
Or listen through TuneIn
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Listen via Stitcher

Books discussed:



Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
Now You See Me by Sharon Bolton
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
My Misspent Youth: Essays by Meghan Daum
The Sea of Light by Jennifer Levin

Other mentions:

Karin Slaughter
Mo Yan
Nobel Prize for literature
The Blackhouse by Peter May
Fringe Festival (Edinburgh)
International Book Festival (Edinburgh)
Internal Medicine: A Doctor's Stories by Terrence Holt
Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
Man Booker Prize
Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson
Alex Delaware series by Jonathan Kellerman
The Americans (tv show)
Dr. Who (tv show)
The Troop by Nick Cutter
The Many by WYl Menmuir 
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids edited by Meghan Daum
Unspeakable by Meghan Daum
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Books on the Nightstand podcast
Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Frasier
Orphans at the Carnival by Carol Birch
A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin

Related episodes:

Episode 063 - Desolation Road (book speed dating and books on grief)


Stalk us online:

Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter

Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy too
Sarah on Facebook
Sarah is @SJTedford on Instagram and @SarahK on Litsy